We absolutely love daredevil antics in cars and on motorcycles, given they are done safely and by professionals. The folks at Top Gear Live are just about to satisfy our craving by pulling off the first 720 on four wheels, which Top Gear has dubbed the “Deadly 720.” The term “720” refers to a pair of 360-degree loops in succession, so absolute perfection is required to succeed in tackling each loop.
To give you an idea of just how much precision is needed, the engineers heading up the stunt have estimated that the customized buggy that Top Gear Live is using for this stunt must enter each loop between 24 and 26 mph, 2 mph more could result in excessive G-force and result in the driver blacking out and 2 mph too low would cause the buggy to fall from the loop. To help avoid driver error, Top Gear has fitted the special stunt buggy with an accelerator lock that will hold the accelerator in a precise position to maintain the prescribed speed, so the driver can focus only on keeping the buggy on the 58-meter-long track.
Despite the accelerator lock, we all know that any given car can run drastically different from one day to the next, so even with the lock, there is still a great possibility that the car will have too much or too little speed and we will see a spectacular crash. We are pretty certain that there will be tons of test runs on the actual day to make sure the car is perfect, so a crash is very unlikely.
Crash or not, we are all set to see history take place at the Top Gear Festival in the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa on June 16th – 17th, 2012. Ah, the things people will do to get in a record book.
UPDATE 06/19/2012: The group at Top Gear finally attempted the “Deadly 720” this weekend, and just as expected… It all went exactly to plan. This places the Top Gear Live clan in the Guinness Book of World Record for the most loops by an automobile. Congrats to our Top Gear daredevils. We have also attached a video of the stunt (above). Hit the one minute mark to skip the introductions.
Click past the jump to read Top Gear’s full press release.
If you live in the south especially, you are rather familiar with the various low-speed spectacles that occur on racetracks that typically involve a $500 Dodge Omni without windows and a glass-pack muffler. You know, the amateur circle track circuits, of course. Having owned and operated various mechanic shops in the southern United States, I have become accustomed to these races and the mechanics that show up on Saturday mornings with their “race cars” en tow for that afternoon’s race.
I personally have never frequented these races, but I can only imagine the hilarity that takes place when you get a bunch of race-fuel adrenaline junkies on a track that is too small and they are battling for position at speeds in excess of a sound-barrier-breaking 45 mph. Well, sometimes a little fun breaks out at these fine automobile competitions, as some get a little bit too excited and go way overboard.
The scene in the above video is a prime example of what happens when a non-professional racer gets a little too angry and goes on an exhaust fume-fueled rage. The driver of the red car, which looks to be a circa-1987 Nissan Pulsar, apparently has some sort of beef with the driver of the black car with green numbers and decides to turn his sub-compact “racecar” into a missile.
The driver veers through the infield and rather impressively aligns his car up with his moving target – clearly using advanced physics to make such a precise maneuver – and slams into the side of the enemy racer. The driver of the black car does what any self-respecting racer does; he proceeds to exit his cockpit and confront the red car’s driver. Well, that didn’t turn out well either, as the red car’s driver wasn’t done yet and proceeded to beat the hell out of the black car’s driver.
The 2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship season has received a surge in popularity in the past few years. Capitalizing on this new-found attention, the WTCC has enlisted the services of an American icon to serve as its official safety car: the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro.
Although the WTCC Camaro Safety Car will carry a serial engine, it still carries enough juice - 432 horsepower’s worth of it - to outpace all the touring cars in the series by as much as 40%.
The WTCC Camaro Safety Car will be piloted by Portuguese driver Bruno Correia, a veteran racer that has been involved in over 350 races. Needless to say, Correia is more than qualified to be behind the wheel of the car that is instrumental in restoring order in the often chaotic and action-packed races of the WTCC.
The WTCC even has a video explaining the need for a car of the Camaro’s stature to serve as its official safety car. You can check that out by clicking on the photo above.
The Queen of England may not have the power that she once had, but she certainly remains a powerful figure in the hearts of all British folks. On June 2, 2012 the Queen celebrated her 60th year on the throne, which brought about a celebration dubbed the Diamond Jubilee – “Diamond” indicates 60 years, for those wondering.
In the festivities, the Queen was spotted riding around in a rather luxurious automobile that one of our readers keenly pointed out is either a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, and he turned to us for help identifying the car and telling him a little about it. Figuring he is not the only person interested in the topic, we felt that a full-on review was in order.
As it turns out, after a good amount of research, we have found out that the queen traveled around in the Jubilee in a 2002 Bentley State Limousine. This is no typical Bentley limo either, as it is fit for a… Well, Queen, of course!
Click past the jump to read our full review of the Queen’s ride.
We have pretty much all made the joke “Whoa, that [insert inanimate object] just jumped right out in front of me,” but on rare occasion it can actually be true. In the above video, you can see a car driving down a foreign highway with its strategically placed dashboard camera filming what appears to be just another day on the highway.
About 300 feet ahead of the car with the camera is a minivan cruising in the same direction. On the horizon, you can see a large semi-truck hauling something large and square, which ends up being a house. As of that time, this is a strange sight, but hauling houses on a truck is actually a fairly common occurrence.
What is not a common occurrence is when this house suddenly tips over and falls onto the highway, directly in the path of the minivan. You can imagine what happens from there… The minivan plows through the side of this shoddily built structure and goes straight through it, ending up on the shoulder of the highway.
We are pretty amazed at the perfect timing of the entire situation, but we are even more amazed with the ease that the van managed to rip through the house and come out on the other side. Makes you wonder what they built that house out of, papier-mâché maybe.
Anyways, at least in this case, the driver can say to his insurance company “The house just jumped right out in front of me” and actually say it with a straight face. Enjoy the video!
Some of you may already know this, but back in early 2007, the U.S. state of Texas banned all speed cameras and then the following year recorded the lowest ever vehicle causality rate since counting began 75 years ago. Reports are claiming that the biggest state in America is set to take another huge step to help slow the road toll even more.
Some controversial research has previously shown that driving consistently at higher speeds on highways is actually safer than slower speeds as it forces drivers to be more alert. Taking into consideration the fact that the Autobahn is extremely safe with many regions not having speed limits, it wouldn’t be out of the question to raise speed limits in Texas.
That’s exactly what the Texas Department of Transportation is planning to do. The highest speed you’re allowed to legally travel in Texas is currently 80 miles per hour on select roads, but the TDOT plans to increase that to 85 mph on State Highway 130 which travels from San Antonio all the way to Austin.
Understandably, many people are outraged by this proposal and before anything goes ahead, the TDOT will have to conduct extensive speed tests to make sure the road is actually safe to be driven on at 85 mph. However, speed management director for the TDOT, Darren McDaniel is confident the road is up for the job claiming it “was designed under extremely high design parameters.”
If the changes do go through and the results are positive, then expect other U.S. states to go down a similar route.
There comes a time in every person’s life where sacrifices must be made and the biggest moment of sacrifice is when you have a child. I know that my son comes first in everything. There is not a single thing in this world that I would put before his health, safety, and overall well-being. Unfortunately, not everyone feels this way.
Enter in a woman (we know her name, but we’ll spare her some privacy) from the Denver, Colorado area, and you have a woman that made the “mistake” (her words, not ours) of putting $7.00 worth of gasoline in a child safety seat, as the young child sits in the seat next to the car seat with a lap belt around him.
After picking up what appears to be a 2-gallon gas can of fuel, she apparently couldn’t find any other better place to sit it other than her child’s car seat. So she removed her son and placed him on the adult seat and securely strapped in the can of gas in the child seat.
Fortunately, she was stopped by the Aurora Police Department during a random seatbelt checking campaign and she received a slew of tickets. One of the officers snapped a picture of the terrible site and posted it on the Colorado DOT’s Facebook page, which now has 704 comments, most of which comment on the horrendous lack of safety, and 2,031 shares.
To make matters worse, on this undisclosed woman’s Facebook page she posted on May 30th “So I jus [sic] got pulled over! No license again....but I didn’t go to jail! Thank God! This time I learned! !!!” This leads us to believe that not only was she driving with her son in the worst possible position – in a regular seat with a can of gas within reach – but she was doing so without a valid license, which she has done before.
It’s not our job to judge, so we will just say that no matter what, the safety of you children always comes before a can of gas…
Oh boy… It seems like the FR-S and BRZ just hit dealerships – oh wait they did – and already they are showing up on the recall list. So, does this spell disaster for the Sciobaru twins, or is this just a rocky start to something special, a la the Ford Escort? Well, actually the recall has absolutely nothing to deal with the overall build of the vehicle, but rather a strange safety requirement by the NHTSA.
This recall is still hot off of the press, as it just hit the NHTSA’s site on June 8 at 2:49 a.m. – ah, someone couldn’t sleep – but there is still enough info to pass along. It looks like there was just a small bit of information left out of the owner’s manual regarding how the airbag system works. You know, one of the many sections of the owner’s manual that the average owner just bypasses.
From the reports we are reading, the missing information is almost unnoticeable. As described by Subaru officials, the missing information in question is that the manual not making a distinguished difference between a child and a small female when it is describing the way the BRZ and FR-S weigh its passengers for airbag deployment.
Per the NHTSA, this recall only affects a small number of the first FR-S and BRZ models to leave the production line. It is estimated that roughly 1,156 Scion FR-S models are in need of replacement owner’s manuals, but the number of BRZs needing replacement manuals is undisclosed yet, though some outlets are reporting 1,600 BRZs.
Fortunately, this recall is just something small and not a safety issue, which could be catastrophic for a new car in the market.
A few weeks ago, we let you know that the Ferrari P4/5 Competizione became the hottest thing to lap the Nürburgring, as it crushed the old Ferrari record around the Ring by over 7 seconds. Well, the Ferrari P4/5 Competizione was again the hottest thing on four wheels on the Ring, but this time in the literal sense. Yup, while in the pits at the Nürburgring, a small amount of fuel hit the red hot engine and… Well, you can fill in the blanks.
Needless to say, the rear end of the Ferrari became quite the fireball, thanks to racing fuel meeting the freshly raced engine. Fortunately, the picture of the fire makes it look a lot worse than it actually was, as the team was able to douse the fire and get the car back onto the track. We guess that all part of the typical pit crew day, huh?
What’s even more impressive is following this fire, the team managed to regroup and end up taking 1st place in the Alternative Energy Class in the 2012 24 hours of Nürburgring, which it entered as a hybrid, and 12th overall. Good job to the team for their racing and fire-fighting abilities!
Top Gear is beloved by nearly every automotive buff and we all have a great respect for the oft-controversial Jeremy Clarkson. Not only is his automotive knowledge about as in-tune as you can get, but he is also a royal ass sometimes, which we enjoy, most of the time. Well apparently folks in West Mickley in the U.K., he is even respected as a traffic cop.
A young man got tired of seeing drivers flying through his small village well in excess of the village’s 30 mph posted speed limit. Instead of calling the police or lobbying to have other speed control devices (i.e. rumble strips or speed humps) installed, he built a police officer scarecrow, which we will be the first to dub it a “scareslow,” and set it up on the side of the road as you enter the village.
This scareslow is decked out with a toy police officer hat – you know, the funny little plastic domed hats – and a bright yellow high-visibility vest. In the scareslow’s left hand is a small hair drier that is used to simulate a radar gun. Topping off the entire garb is the face of none other than U.K. automotive super celebrity, Jeremy Clarkson! The young man that made this getup decided that a printed face of Clarkson glued to this scareslow was the ultimate finishing touch.
The BBC report says that they are not too sure what exactly makes traffic slow down when seeing this contraption. It is either the sheer realism of it – rather doubtful – or people simply gawking this creation allows them to realize that this is a village with a 30 mph speed limit. The latter is the most likely of scenarios, but it is an innovative way to self-regulate traffic.
Hats off to this man for using his noggin in finding a way to effectively slow down traffic through his village.